When my husband and I walked through the door of the cottage, I immediately felt disappointed. This shabby romantic getaway wasn’t quite how the website had described it.
These thoughts were racing through my mind – that it wasn’t worth the hassle to drive to this funky place and that I’d chosen the wrong surprise for our 30th anniversary.
My husband’s initial impressions of the place weren’t that positive either. Before we even took off our coats, my husband and I flopped on the bed and talked about how we were feeling, without any blame or recrimination.
Then we decided to get up and walk around. There was a Jacuzzi tub where we could take a bubble bath, an outdoor hot tub, and a suspension bridge that led to a stargazing hut with a telescope. This funky place suddenly became unique and special, exceeding our expectations. How could we ever have thought it wasn’t right for us just a few minutes before?
When we arrived, we were tired. Getting away can be exhausting, and the preparations anxiety-ridden because it’s impossible to know beforehand what the accommodations will be like. After a few moments of calming ourselves down by articulating our thoughts, by moving and looking around, and then subsequently becoming more resourceful, this little cabin on a mountaintop suddenly became the most perfect place in the world for us to be.
We ended up having a rewarding weekend of caresses, cuddles, orgasms, fun, and generosity. In the past, before we understood how relationships work, my husband and I would have argued and not taken responsibility for our own feelings and decisions. We would have succumbed to blaming, shaming, and defending our positions.
My personal story illustrates what every couple is trying to manifest in their relationship – resiliency at all times, having the wherewithal to transform perceptions, not the situation. Resiliency is how to save your relationship.
The challenge is making an inner shift when you’re disillusioned — on a once-in-a-while getaway as well as on a daily basis at home.
Close your eyes. First, think of your favorite outdoor place. What is the temperature? What does it look like? How does it feel? After you get that image in your mind’s eye, think of an outside place that is your least favorite. How do you feel here? As you’re thinking of this place that doesn’t resonate with you, think of ways you can change your inner state to make your inner state more positive. For example, if you hate the cold, you won’t be able to change the fact that the thermometer reads minus zero, but you can imagine the warmth of sitting next to a blazing fire.
As soon as you can accept your feelings, you can change them. Cathy Thorne’s marriage cartoon will help you transform rain into sunshine.